Worker Injury at Bowmanville Cement Facility Results in $165,000 Fine for Toronto-based Company

Convicted: St. Marys Cement Inc. (Canada), 55 Industrial Street, Toronto, Ontario M4G 3W9, a company that produces cementitious materials.

Location of Workplace: 400 Bowmanville Avenue, Bowmanville, Ontario.

Description of Offence: A worker suffered a critical injury while performing maintenance testing work at the Bowmanville facility.

Date of Offence: October 8, 2019.

Date of Conviction: October 8, 2021.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following a guilty plea in the Ontario Court of Justice, Oshawa, St. Mary’s Cement, Inc. (Canada) was fined $165,000 by Judge Lara Crawford; Crown Counsel Shantanu Roy.
  • The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.


  • On October 8, 2019, a worker employed by St. Marys cement was conducting testing on equipment in the Finish Mill at the Bowmanville facility. The area is where a fine cement powder is produced.
  • An analysis was being conducted of the equipment’s condition using vibration measurements which can only be taken while the equipment is active.
  • The Finish Mill Cooler is a vertical steel tube, with water that flows down the outside.
  • A fixed ladder provides access to the top of the cement cooler.
  • The top perimeter has guardrails around it. There was a covered hatch located at one end of the top of the cement cooler that provided access to the interior.
  • The cement cooler can continue to operate if the hatch is open or removed.
  • There was no means of mechanically securing the hatch cover in a closed position; it was held in place by gravity.
  • Inside the cement cooler, there is a rotor that has a spiral cage up against the tube that moves cement powder up against that outside wall. This process cools the cement powder.
  • The worker climbed the access ladder and started to take vibration measurements at various locations while the equipment was in operation.
  • During this process the worker stepped on the access hatch cover, which then flipped inward, causing a critical injury to the worker.
  • An investigation of the incident by the Ontario Ministry of Labour concluded St. Marys did commit the offence of failing, as an employer, to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by subsection 15(a) of Ontario Regulation 851 R.R.O. 1990, as amended, were carried out in the workplace.
  • This was contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O., 1990, c.O.1, as amended. Specifically, St. Marys failed to ensure that an access hatch cover located atop of Finish Mill Cooler 1 was secured in place.